Contribution of Sound to Perception of CVT Performance 2006-01-0813
Three experiments examined the contribution of sound to the perception of performance using audio recordings made on a test track with a vehicle equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) performing four different maneuvers with four transmission settings. Subjects rated the recordings based on their perceptions of power & performance, pleasantness, smoothness, and loudness. On the track, the low calibration setting (including a flat ratio schedule) had been rated higher for power & performance than the high calibration setting (including a rising ratio schedule). In Experiment 1, where subjects were unaware of the maneuver performed, there was no advantage for the low calibration setting; in Experiment 2, where subjects were aware of the maneuver, the power & performance ratings were opposite to those obtained on the test track. In Experiment 3, drivers of performance cars rated the recordings as more pleasant and smoother than did drivers of other vehicles. These results indicate that the effect of sound on perception of performance is influenced by additional sensory information available when actually performing the maneuvers, and that the perception of pleasantness and smoothness of the sound are dependent upon the driver.